How to know if you qualify for a solar energy system? – Written by: Ignacio Salazar, Commercial Technical Assistant.
It is common that customers who want to buy solar panels do so for three reasons: to save money in the monthly electricity bill, to reduce the environmental footprint, or a mix of these.
The truth is that in many cases the consumption of electricity, especially in houses, is less thank 300kwh per month, with a monthly bill of approximately 30,000 – 40,000 colones. In Costa Rica, the first 200 kwh consumed have a “special rate” given by the government, and from there on the rate increases. So, in cases like these, that consumer is actually paying a very low electric bill and the investment in a photovoltaic system is viable, but not recommended, since the cost of investment is high and the return of investment very long (7-8 years approx.).
However, a site that consumes more than 600kwh per month with an invoice of 80,000 colones or more, does qualify as a viable and recommended site to install a photovoltaic system, since the period of return of investment is shorter (5-6 years) and will be able to see significant savings in the monthly bill (between 60%-85%).
Many times, people have the good will of wanting to take advantage of the sunlight to provide energy for their houses, in order to save money and decrease the environmental impact. However, from a social responsibility point of view, we shall give our best recommendation to our leads and avoid “installing for the sake of it”, in order to avoid unsatisfied customers. It is important that consumers contact directly the different companies that offer these services and products, to make an informed decision with previous knowledge of the established conditions.